A new study suggests that the estimated number of girls missing in China due to sex-selection abortions or infanticide, while still high, is lower than previously estimated.
The generally accepted estimate of “missing girls” in China is about 60 million. China’s onerous one child policy, recently changed to a two child policy, is heavily linked to the massive gendercide.
CNN reports more about the study:
A controversial one-child policy that resulted in as many as 60 million “missing girls” in China, the most populous country on Earth.
But in a new study, researchers suggest that around 25 million of these girls aren’t actually missing, but went unreported at birth — only appearing on government censuses at a later stage in their lives.
“Most people are using a demographic explanation to say that abortion or infanticide are the reasons (these girls) don’t show up in the census and that they don’t exist,” said John Kennedy, study co-author and political science professor at Kansas University.
“But we find there is a political explanation.”
Kennedy linked the one-child policy to the problem, but he also argued that a number of girls are hidden, rather than missing because of it. To support the theory, he and researcher Shi Yaojiang, an economics professor at Shaanxi Normal University, conducted interviews with rural villagers in China and then analyzed population data, according to the report.
Kennedy said they found that rural family planning officials sometimes were hesitant to enforce the one child policy in their own communities, and let baby girls slip by unreported.
Later, the report continued:
They discovered that though families didn’t register girls immediately after birth or in the months following, they tended to get reported between the ages of 10 to 20.
When the researchers compared the number of children born in 1990 with the number of Chinese men and women in 2010, they discovered four million more people. Of those, there were roughly one million more women than men.
“Between 1990 to 2000, we observed a much later registration for girls. This is as girls might tend to be registered before marriage whereas young boys will get registration earlier for education,” said Kennedy.
The researchers expressed hope that China’s gendercide problem, particularly the lack of marriageable young women, may not be as bad as originally thought.
Reggie Littlejohn, president and founder of Women’s Rights without Frontiers, which works to protect the rights of women and girls in China, is not so sure.
Littlejohn said the researchers are right that there are hidden girls, but there also are many girls who continue to be abandoned or aborted in communist China.
“We know that true gendercide exists in China,” she told LifeNews. “Women are pressured to abort or abandon their babies just because they are girls — rather than simply hiding them.”
Littlejohn said their Save a Girl campaign, which works on the ground in rural China, has saved hundreds of baby girls who otherwise may have been aborted or abandoned simply because they are girls. In rural China, second daughters especially are vulnerable, she said.
She questioned the researchers’ methods for determining the lower estimate.
“Taking one year in which more women were found than men and extrapolating that by 25 years without any further investigation or analysis does not constitute a serious demographic ‘study,’ but rather a ‘theory,’” Littlejohn said.
According to the 2010 Chinese census, the ratio of males to females in China is 118 to 100. The U.S. Department of State and others also have linked the gender imbalance to other abuses, including sex slavery and trafficking in China.